We're used to hearing about money being funneled to terrorist organizations from the Saudi royal family, but a new report in the G2bulletin.com says that a money laundering scheme selling stolen goods in a poor neighborhood of Cincinnati earned more than $100 million for terrorists.
The plan used a dozen convenience stores to sell stolen goods that were bought cheaply from thieves and resold at higher than usual prices. It may sound strange that stores in a poor neighborhood were used for the scam, but prices are often higher in poor neighborhoods than for the same goods in more affluent areas. This is due to poor people being ignorant of prices and unable to travel to discount stores, as well as to buying on credit. In these stores, for instance, cigarette packs were broken open and individual cigarettes were sold at a high mark up. They also charged high prices to cash checks for people without bank accounts.
$37 million went into the account of Omran Saleh, but police think that's only a third of the actual profits. Most of the money has been sent to Middle Eastern countries, in amounts just under the $100,000 limit, which requires that the transfer be reported to the government.
Government influence has always been bought and sold, but it seems to be getting worse than ever.
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